Sunday, January 08, 2006

Cons, Schemers and Scammers

Throughout the search for Laci I felt that Scott Peterson, her
husband had been the engineer behind her disappearance,
then later, her death. Although he is as his lawyer was quick
to say, a "cad," he was and is and probably always will be, a
con man. He's not the first, and definitely won't be the last
schemer scammer to plan a con and spin it out onto multiple
persons in order to achieve their goals. While he may have
thought of himself as lothario, Don Juan, suave and debonair,
he is in reality none of those. Yet to those he conned, he
portrayed himself as something and someone he was not.

Con men or women's activities are nefarious and damaging
to those they practice their schemes on. Numerous stories
abound in news reports and in books about people who've
been scammed, ripped off, left destitute, victimized and in
some cases, even murdered by con artists.

Artists. Cons should never be associated with such a word.
Artist denotes those who create works to be admired,
revered, enjoyed, to create controversy, or to make a
statement, whether personal or public. Many works of art
are eclectic, spare, disturbing, beautiful, awe inspiring
or unique.

Cons create destruction, manipulation, theft and emotional
abuse. They each feel that they are unique, that no one else
has taken their type of cons to such a level. That they are
entitled. In reality they're not. They want something for

There are numerous cons and levels of cons that occur
each and every day. It's up to us to be aware and to not
be caught up in a scam.

For instance, the emails from foreign countries that
supposedly come from some official or other stating you've
won money, but you have to fork over sums of money in
order to get the former. The individuals who email you
stating there's money in x country and they need your help
to obtain it. Still, you have to lay out your hard earned cash
in order to help them do it, or, to disregard and risk your own
neck disobeying laws of not only your country, but also theirs in
order to obtain it. Many of those who get caught up in these
schemes are often gullible, naive and quite possibly, like the
idea of so much money for so little work.

People like meeting people. Dating ads are a way to get
to meet others who might share your interests. There are
many people who do so honestly and openly. They state who
they are and don't misrepresent themselves. Others like to
"pad" their description of themselves in order to impress others
or make themselves out to be something they aren't.

There are many websites that allow viewers and users of the
site to donate funds. Most that I've seen let the reader know
that if they like the site and would like to help the site stay
online, that they can donate if they choose. There's no push,
no diatribes nor bullying about donating. Just a pleasant
reminder that in order for them to continue having a site that
you enjoy, it does cost funds to run.

In my internet travels, I've only seen one site who's operator
vociferously and blatantly pushes their viewers or participants
to "tip" them. The owner seems to feel that they "deserve" your
money. It's a personal choice to pay for a site or to use a free one,
and since the site is public, open to all to view, no one should feel
that they "have" to pay up. If the owner chooses to take trips
for trials to report for their readers, that too, is a personal choice.
It's quite fine for supporters and friends of the operator to donate
for the trips or gifts they choose to help with. But not even they
should be made to feel they "have" to.

Scott Peterson purchased fake diplomas. This was presumably
to continue passing himself off as someone he was not. Possibly
in order to impress and scam others into thinking he had degrees
that he really didn't have.

Some people pass themselves off as experts in fields in which they
have no career or educational background. There are stories from
time to time in the news about those who pass themselves off as
Military Veterans, as Law Enforcement Officials and Officers,
Doctors and other specialists.

Then there are those who pretend they are experts in a variety
of fields who in reality have no basis to claim such. Padding their
biography, resume or press releases serves to impress, or so they
think. In reality, many people are capable seeing their scam, and
are wiser than the con artist thinks. Those who've been conned
by these people are usually hurt, chagrined and sometimes
outraged not only at the con, but at themselves for not seeing the
scam sooner. Hopefully after that experience they are wiser and
avoid such cons in the future.

Cons think there's no harm done if it's done to someone they don't
know or don't like. No harm, no foul.

In reality they harm themselves.

Loss of respect from their peers, readers and sometimes
from friends. Their credibility factor becomes zero with
those who might be placed to help them, whether with
information, a friendship, or a coveted career.

One can argue that those who con by misrepresentation and
pass themselves off as an expert in a career field when they
are clearly not, are no better than Scott Peterson with his fake
diplomas trying to impress people and pass himself off as
something he's not.

Be aware. Beware. Yet enjoy the Internet.